Whew Chile, it is 2021 yet?

The last three weeks have been a whole lot of tough, and if we let the media tell it we have haven’t even seen the WORST! From denial of a pandemic sweeping the world, closing borders to closing schools we have become a society full of anxiety-ridden, stressed, physically exhausted, bone-tired extras in an episode of The Walking Dead ( I’m looking at you people fighting over the last pack of chicken wings in Costco) and if you’re a parent you’ve probably spent the last 24hrs contemplating how you’ll survive with your kids under you 24 hours a day for an undetermined amount of time. The thought is terrifying.  I wish I was kidding but for both parents and the children, this can be anxiety-inducing and scary.  I’ve watched my youngest sing his favorite song so many times while washing his hands that he almost cried when he couldn’t find a clean towel.

With the constant reminders to wash your hands, stock up on food, stay out of places with over 250 people (have you been to a grocery store in the suburbs? pssh) it can feel like you might not make it and it doesn’t have to be crazy. When I got the call about school closing I jotted down a few steps to keep my kids and me from going stir crazy and this time together is filled with love and self-care, not dread and more anxiety. Here’s what we’ll be up to:

Stick To Your Schedule: 
With the level of exhaustion we all feeling it will be really easy to sleep in. Don’t. While you may not need to wake up at 5:30, try to maintain a schedule as close to your normal one so that when it’s time to go back there is no fight. My boys get up every morning at 6:15, they are dressed by 6:45 and ready to catch the bus at 7:12. EVERY Morning. While they are home, we will move everything out 30 minutes. Instead of leaving to catch the bus, we will sit down at the dining room table for breakfast, then (weather permitting) go for a walk. All of their work for school will be online, and we will work on that in 30-minute increments with breaks. The only adjustment we won’t make, bedtime. 8:30 meditation, 9:00 pm GOOD Night. This is always a struggle with them after long breaks because we let them stay up. Not this time.

Schedule Workouts for You and Your Children:
Exercise keeps everyone focused and releases the toxins caused by anxiety. My boys are in love with lacrosse, so we will have some little scrimmages in the backyard. No backyard, go to the park. For me, it will be my regular routine of Barre, Yoga, and meditation. Invite your kids to join you as well, it could be fun.

Cook Together:
This is something we do regularly, but why not have them involved in every step? This weekend we are sitting down to meal prep, find recipes and prep for the week. My eldest will be in charge of breakfast, my youngest lunch and we will collaborate on dinner (aka I’ll have a bunch of recipes for them to choose from). One of the meals will definitely be Pizza and with time on our hand’s homemade dough will be a thing. My youngest is designing a menu.

Designate A Project Hour:
It’s inevitable that screentime will become an issue because you’ll need breaks from each other but in order to avoid any brain drain, a project can help. For my boys, it will be Art and Music. We’ve loaded up on pencils, markers, and paint and they will get to tell a story through whatever song they choose. I have promised them I would not comment on the trap music they love so much. Y’all pray for us because my husband and I are TRUE Hip Hop friends and we hate everything they love. LOL!

Take Naps:
I can’t stress this one enough. As I said we are all mentally drained and we should allow ourselves time to rest and restore ourselves. Naps allow for that.

And while many of us will also be working, these steps will allow you time to be attentive to your work as well, because everyone knows that when kids are busy they can’t be running behind you screaming for snacks or about buying skins on Fortnite.

Here are a few bonus resources you can use with your kids as well!
Scholastics Learn at Home
Virtual Musem Tours
Art, DIY, Inspiration – Daily Art Projects

Have you come up with a plan for you and your kids during these missed days of school?  Share them in the comments!